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Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
@corgi213 @FemaleWolverine You two agreed to a duel without even asking what it entailed! I will provide three prompts. Corgi, as the challenged party, gets to pick which one you'll both be using. You must each write a short story based on it, between 800-1600 words, and send it to me. I'll repost them here anonymously and tag in a team of impartial judges to decide which is best. You have 48 hours from the time of this post. 10 points will be deducted from the loser and given to the winner. (15 points deducted and only 5 awarded if one of you is a despicable no-show.) And the loser must of course live with the eternal shame of failure.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Also, FemW, just putting this out there.... It's possible you might still be coming around to this site in a few years, like many of our long term members. One of the greatest regrets many of these people have is the username they selected in their tweens. Before you become tied to this account by points and commendations and reputation and storygames published, you might really consider whether you'll be okay with still going by 'FemaleWolverine' at 17 or 20, and having IRL friends or coworkers potentially know about this if you want to share your work with them.

Right now when you're still green is the best time you'll ever have to just make a new one with no loss.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
You've got me questioning my account now...

Anyway, good luck to both contestants!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

I was 11 and mispelled "betta" because I was naming myself after my fish (rest in peace bettaband).

Now I get Mizal calling me a beta :(. The term wasn't even a thing when my account was created.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

But betaband is a cool name. The letter beta was a thing already 4000 years ago, today it would be pronounced vita, like life. Furthermore band always makes me think of electromagnetic transmission bands. Particularly betaband reminds me of the beta-hydrogen line, a blue spectral line of hydrogen, the most abundant atom in the universe. So its actually a pretty cool SciFi name.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Okay beta.

And I can't believe you murdered your fish, you disgust me.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Got it! And yeah, I'm not budging! XD

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Lol she challenged me to a toggle duel. Denied. Rock Paper scissors it is.

I love this idea though!

Behold, FemWolvering, the mighty and terrifying war dance of my people!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sMLCnxjAdLg

Also when do we get the prompts?

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I am sure i read writing duel on the other thread.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

I'm going to be so angry if she fails to show up because she thought it was an rps duel instead of a writing duel.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I'm a noob, can you blame me?

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
lol

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Prompts: Fantasy Adventure: Your mother the queen lies dying slowly of a wasting sickness, and after the teams your father dispatched failed again and again, you set out yourself to retrieve a feather from the legendary phoenix to save her. Modern Adventure: Something inspired by all these people getting rescued from a human trafficking ring which just happened uncomfortably close to me. Sci-fi Adventure: Your planet has been ravaged by dramatic climate shifts and picked free of resources. But one day you recieve news that a drilling team in the polar ice caps has uncovered a hidden base of alien design, seemingly abandoned but holding a mysterious portal...

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

oh

Oh-hoh

Fantasty prompt. 

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
@FemaleWolverine The weapon has been selected, duel may now proceed. 48 hours or until I have both stories. No take backsies, do all edits before you send it to me.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
great idea mizal. Super cool!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
YES!!!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Can I take a bit more time? I kinda have exams going on right now??

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
@mizal can I take a bit more time please? I have exams going on now

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

mizal im asking that you ignore this request. i'm studying for college exams and still have time to write

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I guess you're right. My exams are getting over tommo anyway.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Request ignored.

Hers, not yours.

'Exams' for eleven year olds are a retarded concept anyway and a thing where the overall results sort of matter to the school, but have no affect on the individual kids at all. But anyway there's still a full 28 hours left, I gave a generous 48 hours precisely with school etc in mind.

It's actually really bizarre they're trying to mold kids barely out of elementary school aka glorified daycare into little standardized testing drones already, and frankly I'm terribly disappointed you're even considering putting school work above e-status on an obscure writing site you literally just joined. You should feel bad, smh.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Exams are necessary to condition the general population. They need to learn that they are losers (and this is due to their own laziness) or they wouldn't to accept that those in power always seem to get a much better deal.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

The true purpose of exams. Smart play, lumenardee, smart play.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
lol

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

It'd be really cool to partake in a tournament style contest with a bracket of one on one duels like this. It'd be an interesting twist on the regular storygame contests we do here, though I guess it would be kind of a nightmare to moderate. 

Corgi vs FemWolverine

3 months ago

I'm late to the party, but I would partake in this tournament.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

3 months ago

That does sound pretty cool.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

3 months ago

Really easy to moderate, in fact. You just tag people in and make them do all the work of reviewing. If they do a bad review or don't show up, doc them 10 points or send asbestos in the mail. Otherwise, you reward them a meager and meaningless quantity of points. Simple.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

3 months ago
I would pay a fair amount of money to recieve asbestos in the mail. Fuckin miracle compound.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Ooh, a formal challenge!

Much approvals!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Not too much time left. I thought this new girl had the warrior spirit. I hope she doesn't just flake out completely.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
iF SHE DOES CAN I DO SOMETHING INSTEAD?!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

it's not really a duel if people barge into the ring to try to club one of the contestants to death while calling the other a coward

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I'm up for a brawl as well...

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Almost done, and don't worry, I don't give up easily! ;)

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
And here I was thinking you got caught up in you exams.

I don't even remember there being exams in middle school, care to elaborate?

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
She lied about her age with the horribly mistaken idea it would make people be nice to her.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
mhm. That 11 year old statement disappeared from the profile.

It's all okay, as long as you come out with a decent story in this duel. Otherwise, that's a no-go

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
The exams got over yesterday, I told you guys already! And get real, it's SCHOOL for god's sake, Of course there are going to be exams. How else are you going to get into the next class?! *eyeroll* And @mizal no I didn't lie about my age, stop making assumptions without the evidence to back it up

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
New girl has severe emotional problems and is a frequent embarrassment to friends and family, got it.

But the story? Still don't got it.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Listen mizal, i honestly don't care about what you say. So go ahead and bully me all you want. I don't care i just came here to write some stories and read some. I don't have time for you, so get over yourself

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Also I think you are nice as a person but please try to put your comments in a way that is at least a little bit nice @mizal and please don't take my comment personally but yes not going to sugarcoat it, you are a bitch sometimes. That's what ticked me off.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
...locked

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Hey hey, calm down miss.

The community is simply confused about your choice of word: "exam". It would quite frankly be more understandable if you used "test". Then again, we could all be confused about your age. You had previously mentioned you are 11 years old in your profile and somewhere in the forums before. This would mean that you are in around 6th-7th grade in school, which from what i remember has no large exams except the ones near year end. Lets also talk about how you need to get into the next class. I don't remember anything that would require exams to get in. Speaking of schools, aren't you supposed to be home, or at least hybrid(assuming you live in the US)?

Final question. How has the community offended you? You had 3 things you described about us: selfish, prideful, and bitches.

For selfish: concerned chiefly with one's own personal profit or pleasure. Please, the only thing we have around here that is profit, is those pointless points. I don't see how we are harming you, for anything.

Prideful: Hey, let's talk about what "pride" we have. Sure, we're asking you about your age and exams, but are we putting you down? We joke and make assumptions here, and nobody gives a shit.

Bitches: Yeah, we are.

Oh, either you edited your post, or Mizal did it. I shall copy the old post here:

The exams got over yesterday, I told you guys already! And get real, it's SCHOOL for god's sake, Of course there are going to be exams. How else are you going to get into the next class?! *eyeroll* Honestly, the truth is you guys are selfish and prideful, not to mention this wall you've created around yourselves. here's something to think about you're not better than everybody else, so go drown your fucking pride and maybe then you'll have a little bit of shame. Even if this is the internet and no one knows your identities. like i said, i hate bullies and people who pick on everything all the time are just as bad. being blunt is one thing, being bitches is another

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I get it once in a while, but seriously, this is getting irritating, some people here just insult everyone with every word, I don't care but there are some people who are actually taking this shit seriously. You assume things without all your facts straight, by pride i mean that you guys just bully each other for your own pleasure and some comments here in the forum are so freaking mean that it is just...wow! And sorry, I'm not mad at you in particular, just some people here online and some people in real life. I don't mean you in particular

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Did someone force you to be in this forum? You don't like it, Go away. Because you are behaving like Diva menopausal_furry, not like Wolverine. Stop whining and go back to your school

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
sorry, I just had a bad day and piled it here. Just ignore it, I'm really tired right now and need to sleep

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
That's okay,
Just avoid going on in a rant in the forums, because those almost always never end well.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Sorry guys, just ignore the mean comments before this. I had a really bad day and i'm super tired. What i wanted to say was That yes, I did change the eleven year old statement but I didn't lie about my age, I am an eleven year old. And i was waist deep in exams and needed to study, they got over yesterday, so I started working on my story today. I am almost finished and will post it before 12 am. So yes, that was what I was trying to say.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
ok

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Honestly, this thread was pretty boring until you called Mizal a bitch and blew up at everyone, so I'm actually glad you did it. Lol.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Well, I'm glad you got some entertainment out of it, but honestly I'm the bitch, Sorry again guys

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
It was a risky gamble, but as we are already in an arena it was just what the onlookers wanted.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Yep! gtg, I'll be back with a finished story!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Aggression is good; its the opposite of depression and an excellent source of energy. Use this fire to fuel your work. Don't waste it on trolls, they don't burn well anyway.

mizal was teasing you to help you over the goal line, I think.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
lol true enough And doing that now! And yes, whatever her intention it helped snuff the writer's block and ignite the spark of creativity.

The Duel

4 months ago
I'll paste both stories as replies to this post, unaltered and exactly as I received them, for ultimate fairness. Judges can respond to this post with their votes, but no one else please until all votes are tallied. I'll call a winner in six hours if it the outcome is obvious enough. I'm just kidnapping judges without arranging this in advance so not everyone may be able to respond. @BerkaZerka @Killa_Robot @Northwind @Gower @Bill_Ingersoll @Ninjapitka @Enterpride You have been summoned to take part in a monumental decision. Ten points hang in the balance. Choose wisely. Okay, here we go:

The Duel (Dark Phoenix)

4 months ago
The methodical trot of the horse was soothing to Prince Ivon. While his mission was urgent, he could not help but relish in the calm warmth of the sunlight upon his face. Ivon breathes in the fresh mountain air, much better than what the city has to offer. A smile plays upon the Prince's lips, but as he looks to the mountain top, something dark and cold coils up inside of him. Ivon's chest restricts, slowly and painfully, then suddenly all at once. His lungs feel as though they will pop out of his chest any moment. *** Ivon kneeled by his mother's bedside, watching the erratic rhythm of an ill woman's breath. Breaths that come out in pained rasps. She looked so much older now, deteriorating day by day. The Royal Herbalist diagnosed her with Senesia, a fancy sounding name for something that kills you slowly. A rare illness, it starts with numbness of the limbs, a mild thing. Soon, the patient becomes rigid and stiff. The chest constricts, until the lungs collapse under the pressure. She doesn't have much time. Your father brought medicine men from all over, none could do much to help. Still, she got worse, and worse. A shuffling and the creaking of wood brought Ivon out of his thoughts, and a small sigh escaped his lips. He sent so many adventurers, chasing the legend of the Phoenix, none have returned. Either dead or ran off, his father too crippled. That left Ivon, the only one who was capable and gave a real damn. The Prince prepared for his journey proper. Hope welled up inside of him. Track down the legendary Phoenix, get one of its feathers. How hard could that be? As Ivon rode off, a cold, constricting sensation filled his chest. *** Ivon breathes raggedly, but in time he is able to regain control of his breathing. Almost every time he looks at that damn mountaintop, that same feeling of cold, restrictive panic washes over him. If he didn't know any better, he would think he had caught his mothers illness. Of course, he would be immobile by now if he had. The Prince shudders at these thoughts before shaking his head. Taking his horse into a gallop he makes way to the mountaintop. The closer Ivon gets to the mountain, the more steady the cold is. Its not a bother at first, but it steadily grows. He pats his horse, talking to it. It's weird, but that seems to help stem the tide of whatever foulness surrounds this place. Ivon steadily makes his way up one of the mountain paths, patting the shield strung up from the side of his horse. Rocks tumble somewhere up ahead, a blurred movement. He places his hand on the hilt of the sword at his side, someone or something is watching him. Following him? The Prince carries on, even if more slowly in the hopes of catching every detail or changing shape or shifting form around him. Oddly, despite the obvious presence, Ivon does not feel fear. Just a steely determination. He slows to a stop at the sight ahead of him, simple bridge made of wood. Now collapsed, even though the wood does not look that old. A shudder runs down the man's spine, as something tells him he shouldn't get any closer to it. Bandits? Trolls? Goblins? From here, he can see a way around, it is a little steep, but its the best choice. Ivon makes it up the incline, casting glances over his shoulders and around the area as he goes. The Prince makes it up the incline without incident. Every so often, he is sure he hears something rustling around in a bush, kicking a rock, or of something sliding against the rocks. "Damn, am I thirsty!" Ivon says extra loud, slowing his horse down. He climbs off his horse, reaching for the canteen hanging off his saddle bag. While Ivon makes a big show of doing this, his other hand unclips his shield from the saddle. The sound of feet stepping on rocks right behind- Thunk! The Prince whips around, slamming the shield into whoever (or whatever) was looming up behind him. A pained yelp pricks at Ivon's ears. To his bewilderment, a short, furry creature lays on the ground, backpedaling against the rock wall. "Ow! Ow! Not hit Tovar!" The strange creature says as it holds it's head. "What the hell are you doing?" Ivon says as he points to the sword at his hip. "Don't you know I could have killed you?" "Kill Tovar! No!" The creature says. "I'm not-I'm not going to kill you." The creature leaps up, jumping up and down with boundless energy. "Yay! Yay! Tovar lives!" "What were you doing sneaking up on me?" "Tovar was seeing if you needed any help!" The creature eyes the canteen. "Or, you were trying to swipe my water." Ivon raises an eyebrow. "Swipe? Oh no!" Tovar puts a finger to his lip for a second, "What brings metal disk man to mountain?" "Looking for a feather, from a Phoenix that supposedly lives here, believe it or not. Name's Ivon." The Prince says, still wary. "Tovar knows! Tovar knows where live fire bird!" He hops up and down excitedly, "I show metal disk man! If...If..." "If what?" Ivon asks. "If metal disk man share his waters?" Tovar does his best attempt at a puppy face, which admittedly does not help his situation. "Alright," Ivon decides, "I give you some water, you show me where to go." Ivon takes the canteen as the creature whoops with joy. "But you see that weird hanging tree?" Ivon points to a dilapidated tree growing off the cliff side. "If you screw me over, I'm tying you up and hanging you from that by your feet." "No upside down! No upside down!" Tovar says. "Tovar is honest! Promise!" "Alright then, Tovar." With that, Ivon follows the strange little fellow. He shows the Prince paths through the mountain he would have never seen by himself. As they near the summit, Tovar points to a large cave opening. "Firebird lives there," Tovar whispers, "Many shiny item people go, none come out! Tovar wait here for you!" "Thanks, Tovar." Ivon makes his way to the cave. He prepares his torch, leaving his horse at the mouth of the cave. The same feeling of cold pressure wells up in his chest, constricting and squeezing. A light is head, but Ivon soon begins to notice a fallen adventurer here, and another there. Soon more and more? The cold pushes up from his lungs, into his throat and choking him. Through a blurry fog of of cold fear, somehow Ivon is able to make it to a light he sees ahead. The cave opens up to a large cavern, natural sunlight coming in from a giant gap at the top. More adventurers lay strewn about. "By the gods." Ivon's jaw drops somewhat. Ahead of him, adorned in feathers that show the beautiful iridescence of sunlight, is what can only be the Phoenix. A pained croak resonates from its beak as it tries to grasp an arrow, before noticing Ivon and looking at him with great sadness. "Another adventurer here to try and kill me?" Her voice resonates warmly, but with a hint of resignation. "I really don't want to." Ivon says, and explains the reasoning behind his arrival. The Phoenix gives an amused chuckle. "Your father's hirelings were mistaken," she sighs, "You're the only one who didn't start the conversation by drawing his sword." "The true legend," she continues. "Further in the mountain, is another. A dark phoenix." Ivon's chest becomes cold at the mention of this other phoenix. "The dark Phoenix must be defeated, and only then will our feathers be able to help your Queen." "With this sword?" Ivon pats his side. "No, you would just end up much the same as the rest of these ones." She turns, cracking something open, and presents a sword to the Prince. A sword imbued with sunlight. "You will need this to conquer the dark one." Hope once again wells up in Ivons chest. "Why are you helping me?" "Simply, as I mentioned before," she says, "You didn't try to kill me." "Right," Ivon nods, and looks at the arrow in embedded in the Phoenix. "Need some help with that?" "If you would." She says cooing, chirruping as Ivon approaches. "Might hurt a bit." He pulls the arrow, dropping it to the ground. Ivon enters the dark cave, the overwhelming cold enveloping him. Suffocating him, and soon a dark light shines. In it, he sees the terrifying image of the dark phoenix. It bellows dark fire, and the Prince instinctively holds up the sword, which glows with sunfire. The sword absorbs the dark, glowing brilliantly with both light and dark. The Phoenix bellows madly, rushing to Ivon in a mad flurry. Ivon's swordsmanship lessons kick in, and he sidesteps a talon, burying the blade into the heart of the dark phoenix. One last ear rending bellow, before it becomes ashes. A bright glow, the Light Phoenix approaches, absorbing the ash. The Phoenix glows transcendently, feathers both dark and light. Playing tricks it the light, the Phoenix takes on some features of its fallen counterpart. With gentle talons, it presents one light and dark feather to Ivon. The cold fear dissipates. The feather is smooth in Ivon's fingers, he places it in one of his pouches and makes his way home. Hope fills his heart once again.

The Duel (Rising from the Ashes)

4 months ago
Princess Ryiah rolled over in her queen-sized bed, instantly regretting it as the sunlight streaming through the open window hit her eyes. She grumbled, but grumpily got up. Smoothing down her soft silk pajamas, she sleepily stumbled towards the curtains and pulled them shut with a sharp snap. Going back to the bed, she slipped under the covers and went back to sleep. 30 minutes later, someone knocked at the door of the huge room, but all it did was make Ryiah sink deeper into her bed. Whoever it was wasn’t giving up though! Knock Knock! She didn’t move. KNOCK KNOCK!! “Okay, Okay, I’m up, you don’t need to break my door down”, she grumbled as she got up and rubbed her eyes. ‘It’s way too early for this!’, she thought. Slipping on her fluffy slippers, she silently walked to the door and opened it, coming face to face with a glaring girl with short red hair and piercing blue eyes. She stalked in the room, and made a beeline for the walk-in closet, scowling the whole time. “Wow, not even a good morning.”, Ryiah chuckled. The scowling girl didn’t answer. Her name was Ella De Castillo and she was Ryiah’s personal maid and best friend. Normally, she was smiling all the time and always had a witty comeback. But she hated waking up early, the same as Ryiah, hence, the scowls and venomous glares that could kill. That didn’t deter Ryiah as she kept teasing Ella, until she was shut up as a pastry was shoved in her mouth. Ryiah almost choked, but started munching it happily. Ella smirked; she knew that would work! 15 minutes were spent in silence with the occasional “This is so good!” or “I just died and went to heaven!” from Ryiah and the “No, no this would look horrible.” Or “Why is this here? It belongs to a trash heap!” from Ella. Finally, Ella held up a beautiful dress up in triumph and wagged it in front of Ryiah who was finishing of her pastry. “Woah, it’s beautiful!”, she exclaimed. Ella giggled, a smile on her face, having bounced back from her bad mood a few seconds back, she happily said, “What did you expect? You have the most amazing girl in the world as your private maid after all!” Ryiah smirked, “There’s no arguing with that!” She took the dress from Ella and went to the changing room. She took off her pajamas and put on the red dress, it had shoulder sleeves that reached her elbows, a cinched waist with an intricate black design on it, and at her knees, where the dress ended, there were patterns that were sown to perfection. She walked out of the room and twirled in front of Ella who nodded in approval. “Just got to add some finishing touches, and then we’re done!”, she said, as she handed Ryiah a black choker and then gestured her towards a chair that was in front of a vanity. Fastening the choker around her neck, Ryiah sat down at the table. Ella grabbed a comb and some other things and, in a few minutes, Ryiah’s ebony black hair was pulled into an elegant hairdo and some makeup was expertly applied, both perfectly complimenting her features. She got up and twirled in front of Ella, who gave her a thumbs up and a grin, “Okay, you’re all set! Let’s go, you can’t escape your duties forever!” “No, but it’s a nice fantasy.”, she cheekily replied. They had reached the gates of the dining room and walked in towards the luxurious table, pretty much everything here was luxurious, which made Ryiah feel a bit guilty, since there were starving and homeless people out there. But now wasn’t the time or place to think about that, not when she was sitting at the dining table, about to ask her scary father a question that would probably get her grounded for a couple years at the very least. On second thought, maybe she should just back out and not ask them. As if reading her mind, Ella, who had retreated to the table with the other maids, looked up from her food and shot her a look that clearly said ‘If you even think of backing out now, I will make you wish you were dead!’, and Ryiah knew she meant it. She had been wanting to ask this for a very long time, aka from when she was 5, and now she was 17 and that just proved how pathetic she was. Welp, no looking back this time. She steeled herself and looked around, waiting for the right moment. Well, actually there was no right moment, which is why she had to go for the kill directly. She looked at her father and sighed, all the fun and love had been thrown out of the window when they discovered that their mother aka the Queen of Calovia, had a wasting sickness. Their mother, Rosa Calovia, was loved by all who knew her, and everyone felt negative emotions overtake them once they heard about her sickness. So far, all the teams the King had sent have not worked, which is why everyone was in a constant state of mourning. This morning, he definitely had another plan and team ready to go, they were going to fail, he would be mad, drink to cool down his anger and when he was drunk, he got aggressive and he usually took it out on me, it never ended well. She hated it, this never-ending cycle, her mother wasn’t getting any better, her father was addicted to alcohol, her little brother had run away from home and nothing was going right. She wished there was something that could stop this downward spiral because she couldn’t take it anymore. Maybe it would be better if she just followed Jamie’s footsteps and ran away. It would be better for everyone, plus it would give her some peace of mind. While she was tuned out, the king was muttering to himself about his plans. Suddenly Ryiah snapped out of her stupor, and exclaimed, “Father, I need to ask you something important!” The King looked up, red wine dripping down his beard, his hair messy and unkept, and his eyes bloodshot. He was still holding his glass so tightly she was surprised it didn’t shatter. She swallowed the lump in her throat and continued what she was saying, “Father, I wanted to ask you if I may be allowed to go on a trip to the Killing Cay?”, she waited apprehensively for an answer, bracing herself for the inevitable. “Okay.” Wait, what?! Where was the shouting? Where was the anger? Where was the fury raining down? Something was seriously wrong. She looked up and was shocked to find that her father’s eyes were lifeless, they usually had some sort of emotion in them, anger, sadness, hate, love, happiness, something at least, but no, there was nothing in them. It was like looking into the eyes of a corpse and then, at that moment, she knew that her father had given up on saving her mother. She couldn’t let this happen. No matter what, her father was still her father and family was still family. So, she rushed to her father and hugged him. He tensed but after a minute, hugged her back. Ryiah hadn’t hugged her father in so long and it was comforting. “It’s okay Father. Mother will get better.” He didn’t respond, but just kept hugging her. Ryiah relaxed and thought, ‘Poor Father, it’s okay, I will get the cure! I won’t let you and mother down! I promise!’ 3 days later In the bedroom, the maids were packing all of her belongings and Ryiah had changed into smart form-fitting clothes and a sword was fastened on either side of her hips. Her hair was pulled into a high ponytail. She exchanged a teary goodbye with Ella and her family, also with some of the maids who she knew and liked. Then she took a deep breath and walked through the palace gates, sparing one last glance back at the place she called home. 2 days later She had finally reached Killing Cay which was a relief, because in the past few days, she had trekked through mountains, walked through entire kingdoms, got caught up in a mob, fought off a wild bear, and so much more. After all that, she just wanted to lie down and sleep forever, but she knew that wasn’t an option, so she dragged her tired body towards the place where she assumed the place where the cabin Father had directed her to was, and after a few hours of searching, she eventually found it. She could have fallen asleep right then and there but she was there for a reason. Sleep was a luxury that she couldn’t afford yet. She rifled through her bag until she found what she was looking for; the notes Ella had made about the Legendary Pheonix. After that, because she couldn’t resist, she fell asleep for a few hours and instantly regretted it the second she woke up. But she was back on track, and had solved puzzles, cracked riddles, literally walked through fire (don’t ask), climbed a very long staircase, punched a god (again, don’t ask) and some more stuff. In short, it had been one heck of a day, but it was worth it, because she had found the nest of the Legendary Pheonix. Now all that was left was to get its ashes and one feather, say the name of the person you want to save, and remember the burning fire. Ashes? Check Feather? Check. What does ‘remember the burning fire’ mean? Maybe some cliqued thing like remember that you are strong or some shit. But no, she already tried that. So it was something different. After 15 minutes of thinking, Ryiah smacked her forehead and exclaimed, “How could I have forgotten that? I need the actual fire!” She took a torch from her bag along with some matches and lit the torch. Carefully looking over the instructions, she made a ring on the floor with the ashes and laying the phoenix feather on one part of it she stood in the middle of it and set the feather alight. The flame spread from the feather to the whole circle and completely engulfed her. But somehow, someway, she didn’t feel any pain. She performed the ritual carefully and precisely, and everything glowed for a moment, then she was in the castle infirmary and lo and behold, there was her mother and her father, looking as radiant as daylight. She tackled them both in a hug, the warmth and comfort beckoning her. It was a great life!

The Duel

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/8/2020 7:49:06 PM

OK I am honored to be part of such an illustrious group of judges.

First, let's get this out of the way: This almost feels like a poll on the point of paragraph breaks in writing. The first story has an abundance of them while the second tries to get by without them. As a result the first story is a much easier read then the second. However, this is probably due to editor issues, and since I have made my fair share of formatting mistakes on this site, I chose to ignore it in my assessment.

Apart form this obvious difference there are a lot of similarities, both stories are situated on the fairy-tale end of the fantasy spectrum, which is possibly due to the prod. Both clung relatively narrowly to the theme and in both stories the ending felt a bit rushed. Actually I found it interesting how there is this little catch at the end of "Rising.." where she briefly can't remember the fire. This could have been set up better, but it puts a bit of extra tension in that was needed at this point, while "Dar.k..." takes a very predicatable turn from the start of the battle.

For me perhaps the greatest difference was how the characters were set up. While Prince Ivon is only briefly introduced, we learn a lot about Princess Ryiah's normal life. As a result she feels like a real person and I cared much more about her.

The real struggle in "Rising..." seems to be with the princesses' father which gives her an interesting social complexity. I found it interesting how she needs to gather her courage to face her father, while punching a god (great line, made me smile) is barely worth the mention.

"Dark..." really scores in terms of side characters, the dog(?) and the phoenix came across really well, thanks to brilliant dialog.

Dark phoenix also had a nice message, about the value of compromise ("You are the first who didn't try to kill me"). Unfortunately the deep insight then goes out the window, when we happily go and just kill the other phoenix, which pops into the story almost out of nowhere.

So all things considered I would say this is pretty close, but, by a phoenix feather's breadth, my vote goes to "rising".

The Duel

4 months ago
Alright, below my thoughts on both stories:

With the first story, I had problems with the pacing. The author dedicated so many words at the constricted and cold chest, words that really didn't have an impact or provided a twist. After a while, it didn't add anything new and made the introduction feel like an overly long repetition without providing anything fresh, while the conclusion of the struggle felt rushed and unsatisfying with a lack of words.

On the other hand, the story shined at the dialogue, and I enjoyed those parts the best. While Tovar didn't add to the plot per sé, he did add a lot of characterization and life into the story.

The second story is almost the polar opposite. Where the first was typed by small paragraphs and single lines that stretched my word document to 9 pages, the second one did away with the line breaks altogether, not a smart move whenever you try to hold a reader's attention. Still, fueled by a desire to escape some annoying little fuck, I pushed on, making my own paragraphs as I went (and no you can't have them; all must suffer as I did). Also, my word document showed this story cheated with 200 extra words.

The author could really gain from reading our own Gower's article on dialogue punctuation. Even with the line break, the inane chitchat didn't add anything as I far still far from invested in both characters. The first 300 words could be summed up as the princess getting up and teasing her maid friend. After this introduction that sorely lacked any hook, things started happening. I liked the characterization of the king and queen here better than in the first story.

The last 400 words formed the actual quest. After a short summation of the princess trekking through mountains, walking through entire kingdoms, getting caught up in a mob, and fighting off a wild bear, we get another short summation of the princess sleeping, solving puzzles, cracking riddles, literally walking through fire (don’t ask), climbing a very long staircase, punching a god (again, don’t ask) and some more stuff.

But I do want to ask about it. In which world does the author find it more interesting to describe the process of getting up than to describe the scene of a princess punching a god?

In short, both stories focussed heavily on the internal narrative above the building up the world and the action. And in both cases, the limited wordcount made that investment unsatisfying as the story cut off before any profits could be reaped. And, after long deliberation, I'll have to give the points to the first entry.

The Duel

4 months ago

In terms of writing competency, these two stories struck me as being more alike than different, despite the many cosmetic distinctions. Both had funky dialogue punctuation, inconsistent plotting, and rushed endings, so in many ways it's a toss-up as to which is better. Therefore if I had to make a choice, then I have to go into the details a bit better.

 

Dark Phoenix

This story perhaps stuck to the prompt better, insomuch as it hit on each of the elements. And yes, the use of paragraphs was easier on the eyes, making me want to select this story right away as my choice and avoid the "text wall" to come.

The sentence structure, though, was less variable, with a lot of subject-verb-object lines one after the other. Technically not bad, just hypnotizing in its rhythmic regularity. And the dialogue punctuation was off in a few places... although when I looked back a second time to find an example to use in this review, I see that there were also plenty of examples where the punctuation was spot on. So I guess this is an example where an initial first impression colors my perception of the rest of the story.

Plot-wise, this seems to aspire to be a much longer story, with some of the elements of an "epic," but without the heft: the Hero setting out alone on a mission, battling the elements on the trail, encountering the magical creature with the odd syntax but helpfully knowledgeable, and then the final showdown. A lot of writing effort is spent on getting from A to B to C, although to be honest not much happens, and Ivon never really seems to be in much peril. Sure, he thinks he is, and the dead bodies surrounding the first phoenix support that conclusion, but... then he hesitates, and the phoenix buddies up with him? And the second phoenix doesn't put up much of a fight?

It's like things come too easily to him, being the prince. Of course all of the other men died trying to get the feather, because they were just nameless minions. When Ivon goes and does the job himself, he gets the help he needs, and things go swimmingly for him. It pays to be royal I guess, and it sucks for everyone else.

 

Rising from the Ashes

So yeah, let's just get this out of the way: this story has paragraphing issues.

But looking past that, this story has more interesting sentence structure, and the characters are a bit more sharply drawn. Whereas Ivon's motivations were almost a given considering his status (and the plot requirements), Ryiah's situation was more nuanced. On the other hand, this story almost forgets the original story prompt and gets lost in a lot of details that go nowhere.

This is basically a three-part story, with three distinct scenes. The first scene isn't bad, but I'm not going to lie: it's painful to wade through for someone not steeped in the whole Disney Princess genre. And frankly, nothing really happens here; Ella is set up as a potentially interesting companion character, who might tag along on the quest and be useful in various ways. But then she falls out of the picture.

In the second scene, where the family situation is introduced, there is a jarring shift in the mood of the story: the chronically sick mother, the drunken father, the run-away brother, and the heroine filled with dread and doubts. This is less a fantasy story and close to a modern melodrama. At the same time, the author is taking a few chances here by not using the Central Casting options.

The third scene is clearly rushed and basically shoehorns the requirements of the story prompt into a short amount of space. It's not bad really, but it treats all of the interesting details of the trek as if they were trivial. This sentence sums up my point:

"She had finally reached Killing Cay which was a relief, because in the past few days, she had trekked through mountains, walked through entire kingdoms, got caught up in a mob, fought off a wild bear, and so much more."

Whoa, wait? Mountains, kingdoms, mobs, wild bears, and more? Then why was I asked to suffer through all that stuff about pastries and dresses? This is where the story really should be. Don't just gloss over this stuff -- give us the details!

 

Final Analysis

So the first story is probably slightly more coherent, in that it is organized into a recognizable beginning/middle/end format, and the princess story loses its way here and there. On the other hand, that first story takes fewer chances and attempts to dazzle us with stock-in-trade story elements; the writing is not bad, but not wonderful, and the characters are flat.

The second story has its issues, but the writing had passages that intrigued me more. That second passage set up a more engaging character motivation, and if even if all the thrilling stuff was glossed over, Ryiah's quest was clearly more interesting than Ivon's.

Therefore I'll cast my vote for "Rising from the Ashes."

The Duel

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/8/2020 7:50:27 PM
There's no compliance quite like forced compliance. I will respect the rules of the kidnapping. I'm basing my scores out of 10 on the three subjects outlined below, a scorecard that only applies to one of the judges: me. That's fair, right? Also, I haven't looked at the other judge's scores. Writing -- overall writing, style, sentence structure, punctuation and the like Plot -- story arc, pacing, events Characterization -- dialogue, characters Dark Phoenix, 20/30. Writing -- 7 Plot -- 6 Characterization -- 7 Rising from the Ashes, 21/30. Writing -- 8 Plot -- 7 Characterization -- 6 Both stories suffered with the mad rush near the end. Rising from the Ashes handled it better because it read like the way you'd tell an abbreviated story to a friend. Still, it wasn't great to end with. Dark Phoenix shined with its light-hearted dialogue. The dialogue itself was fun to read, but it didn't fit well with the overall theme. The story was an epic task for the word count, and that was apparent with the pacing at times. Rising from the Ashes had some really interesting descriptive elements, almost whimsical in nature. The characters felt too "lol omg," like most reactions were stereotypically what you'd expect from a teenage girl. In that manner, it felt shallow to read, and I wasn't drawn in by the characters themselves. Still, it barely squeaked by with a higher score, so great job unknown writer!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
The anonymity really makes this extra fun, there's absolutely no way at all to tell who wrote what!! There are no flaws in the dueling system!!!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Someone didn't follow the word count rules...

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Ok, corgi, I underestimated you

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Are you surrendering already?

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
No, but I've got to admit Corgi's story is cool!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

I like the first one, mostly because I could read it without my eyes losing their place. The fact that the second one doesn't even have a Tovar in it also deteriorates its value.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Tovars are an essential part of every phoenix story!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Hear hear! We agree most concordantly. Why, a phoenix story with nary a Tovar to be found, be hardly a phoenix story of any description!

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

lol

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

I'm looking forward to reading these later tonight.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Liar.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I'm confused, how is he a liar?

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Ha. Exposed for what I am.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

There are no succubus titties unfortunately

Maybe future duels will feature some

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Well shit.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
And why succubus tits lol? XD

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
1:1 so far, exciting! Also wanted to add, congratulations to both duelists for actually producing stories in such a short time frame. It takes a lot to finish.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I just want to point out I found a full box of 17 votes for the second story

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I think the updated total vote count is: 1,224,301 votes for the first story 1,224,558 votes for the second story

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
First story is easier to read, but I didn't care for the present tense used at all.

Second story was a god-awful wall of text and I couldn't slog through it all, but better overall in the writing itself (of the forty or so lines I did manage to get through).

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
So just to be clear, this is a vote for the second story? It sounds like you hated both.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/8/2020 7:49:43 PM
Oh, if I must choose one over the other, then the first gets my vote I suppose.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
This is exciting, folks, we have a tie!

Looks like it's all up to...

....oh, Killa. Well I guess we may be waiting awhile.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

We might have to go to the little-known and extraordinarily deadly tiebreaker round.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/8/2020 7:48:16 PM

I vote for the first one.  The second story's prose style was the key feature that decided it for me.  The two big things were great use of cliche/formulaic writing and extra-sweet writing.  Cliche-wise, in the first bit alone we have "stumbling" out of bed, making a beeline, and piercing eyes, as well as the formula of all formulas, starting with the protagonist waking up in bed.  "She exchanged a teary goodbye with Ella and her family, also with some of the maids who she knew and liked. Then she took a deep breath and walked through the palace gates, sparing one last glance back at the place she called home." -- that's a few lines that I would call wholly cliche.

The prose of the second entry over-relies on adjectives and adverbs to do all the heavy lifting, which *feels* to writers sometimes like good description, but more frequently serves to get in the way of the narration and loses reader interest.  The "short red hair and piercing blue eyes" is symptomatic--this feels to the beginning writer like description--hair color, check, eye color, check, but doesn't really tell the reader much.  I don't actually care what color eyes she has.  I just met her.  What's so piercing about her eyes?  Or is that just shorthand for "my female character is tough"?  Similarly, if you say she stumbled to the curtains, I know she's sleepy; if you tell me her pajamas are silk, I know they are soft.    If someone is glaring, and also scowling, that may be one facial expression too many.  And so forth.

I don't mean to bag overly on this entry, but I offer these words in the spirit of improvement.  You have about ten seconds to snare your reader, and descriptions of clothes may not be the thing.  Let the description of your protagonist come naturally.  Show me what she does.  Let the physical be secondary to the narrative.

I don't mean to suggest entry one is perfect in this regard, but entry two had more problems with prose style, and in the end, I'm all about prose style.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Commended by BerkaZerka on 12/8/2020 7:36:21 PM

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

half the cys population wants to see corgi lose to an illiterate child and doesn't care what it takes

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Fortunately we have people like Berka, Gower, and even Enter. I don't know what's wrong with the other people. 

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Wow, we all thought Mayana left, but turns out she's just been extremely busy.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I agree. I don't get why so many still voted for the first story over the second.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/8/2020 7:49:59 PM
Vote for the second one.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

biased as hell 

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
nailed it

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Appalling. 

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

All the people who think I should have won have been duly noted

And added to the real nigga list

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Bruh you have possibly lost to a little girl if my inkling is correct. 

Lose my number.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Are you trying to get excommunicado from the real nigga list? What a shame

And to think I even stood up for your father daughter time 

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
Ahahahahaha. Thank you Killa.

Official results as soon as I can breathe again.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

#stopthesteal

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

I won this by a lot

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
I totally support Corgi and his win. There will be a rally this Saturday to support Corgi

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

Victory has never felt better 

Thanks Ogre

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
#notMyDuelWinner

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
You broke the forums haha!

Try again.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago
^I mean your post with the pic.

Corgi vs FemWolverine

4 months ago

he was just doing a throwback to old school coins posts 

Duel Results

4 months ago
The unthinkable has happened, and Corgi has lost to an 11 year old girl.

I was going to say more, but that really says it all, doesn't it?

Okay it's true she went a little over the deadline, and over the word count, and the anonymity didn't quite work out as planned in practice. But Corgi lost to an 11 year old girl, and at the end of the day that's really all that matters.

Big thanks to the contestants, and to all the judges for suffering for their sins.

Btw, I'm thinking Corgi should be forced to continue dueling 11 year olds until he finds one he can beat to regain his honor. @AestheticLlama, what do you think?

Duel Results

4 months ago
We demand a recount! There were irregularities!

Duel Results

4 months ago
We have clear evidence of voter fraud!

Duel Results

4 months ago
Hey! That was said in private!

Duel Results

4 months ago
The actual evidence if anyone cares: https://i.imgur.com/BCKlYFQ.jpg

Duel Results

4 months ago
The Corgi campaign will be filing lawsuits in the near future, of that you can be sure

Duel Results

4 months ago

HE WON THIS DUEL BY A LOT!

Duel Results

4 months ago
@FemaleWolverine Congrats on your win! But just to address something brought up about the dialogue punctuation, you ought to look over this article Gower wrote that will straighten you out there, it will save you from a lot of low ratings or at least editing time in the future to get this stuff memorized now.

Duel Results

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/14/2020 1:05:04 AM
Thanks @mizal I'll go check it out now and don't worry corgi, you will have plenty of chances to beat me XD

Duel Results

4 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/14/2020 1:04:49 AM

Yes, congrats fenwolv good job

We did poorly this season but the competition was rough. We'll do better next time.

Duel Results

4 months ago
Thanks Corgi! :D

Duel Results

4 months ago

I blame the quality of voters chosen, and by extension, mizal. Like, who is Northwind? What's he about? His story? I might be wording these as questions, but I don't want these answers. 

It's his fault and no else's that Corgi has been beaten up by children once again. Once more embarrassing his pa and father, and not to mention, his countless lovers that span many genders. 

Duel Results

4 months ago
Thara, please don't blame mizal or the judges, it's not their fault. It's not corgi's either. It was very close and his story was awesome. So, just, please...chill.

Duel Results

4 months ago
I recommend you if you want to stay here and not be banned from here two things Shut up, and don't comment on members that are twice your own age and three times more intelligent. And the other one. LEARNING THE MEANING OF THE WORD SARCASM.

Duel Results

4 months ago
Okay, but seriously please Thara, I know you're smart and all, so don't take it personally, but in short don't blame the judges, mizal or corgi.If you ever want to yell at someone, just pm me, I rant a lot too, so feel free. And poison, you're blunt, I respect that :)

Duel Results

4 months ago
Btw, it looks like you're reading in non threaded view, which leads to things like replying to the angry Spaniard's post when you're trying to reply to Thara. Nobody uses the forum In that setting as it only leads to insanity.

Other mistakes: arguing with Thara, which is very nearly as futile as arguing with Mara.

Duel Results

4 months ago
Ah, so that is the reason why she is banging the dead horse like a necro furry in heat?

Duel Results

4 months ago
lol poison you are the sassiest person I have ever met XD

Duel Results

4 months ago

Duel Results

3 months ago
nice gif poison :)

Duel Results

3 months ago
She's been so shy about posting selfies until now, too.

Duel Results

3 months ago
XD

Duel Results

4 months ago
Noted Mizal! :)

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/14/2020 1:05:18 AM
"Sire, there is no Phoenix! I swear on my life, before all the gods!"

"Now now Lombin, perhaps the gods would rather you swear on something not so easily taken," your father tells the grovelling hunter, kicking him away. "Put him in the dungeon with the others!"

This has become a not uncommon show in the royal chambers. You watch from the doorway as the guards drag Lombin away, while your father heaves a sigh and reaches for a goblet, setting aside his crown. It seems to have grown heavier on him in the last months, his face growing gaunt and weary, his hair streaked with white.

Your mother is much worse of course, as she oversaw the summoning ritual and took the brunt of the backlash when it backfired.

Returning to her bedside now, you frown at her attendants. They had little to do now but hover about annoyingly, and they've been awake for days. With the mussed hair and wrinkled uniforms, it shows. "Go on, all of you get out of here! How dare you stand before your Queen with such slovenly appearance? She'd have you flogged if she were awake!"

They flee, finally leaving you and you parents in peace. You sit and watch your mother sleep. Dark rings have settled under her sunken lids, those eyes beneath them once so commanding and imperious now surrendered to the weariness of her failing body.

Hair a glossy, raven black identical to yours drapes limply across the pillow, and more than anything Mother now resembles a fragile doll carved of yellowing ivory. She lies so still, only the occasional breath spoiling the illusion.

Infusions of elf blood have kept her alive so far--barely--but the physicians say they're losing effectiveness. It was from the prisoners however that your father learned of the rejuvenating properties of phoenix feathers, and the idea has taken hold with a fiery intensity ever since.

"There's something off about these hunters," he's muttering now. "I picked only the most skilled, and offered so much gold....why are they lying?"

"Just send me," you tell him. "Who better to get to the bottom of this, and who has greater incentive to find a cure than the Queen's own daughter and apprentice? At least let me determine if there even is a Phoenix out there, or if this has all been a goose chase."

He refuses at first. Not because he's worried about you, but because with your mother in such a state, you comprise half the castle's defenses. Magic has always run strong on the female side of the royal family, and at nineteen you possess more raw power than your father has after forty years of practice.

But finally he can no longer deny it's simply the most practical solution, and gives you his blessing to go.

You pull on a hooded traveling cloak, saddle up Sarkuur and lead him towards the gate.

"Halt! Who goes there?" A guard challenges you as he hurries over, before stopping in sudden confusion, having either recognized you, or seen that your horse is not a horse. "Oh! Princess, forgive me, I--"

"I'm sorry that you saw me," you say. He starts to speak again with a look of dawning fear, but you point at him with one hand to choke the words out and hold him frozen in place, while with the other you perform the gestures to unravel his life force.

Father was very insistent that no one should know you were leaving, with he and Mother both so vulnerable.

You make no attempt to hide the body. You knew that guardsman, he was getting up in years and could just as easily have been stricken with apoplexy. No one will pin the act on you, and even if they do, they know better than to question it.

Once clear of the castle you mount Sarkuur and ride, going full tilt with your hair streaming behind you as miles and villages flash by, his cloven hooves pounding the cobbles tirelessly until the road brings you to forest and hills, and then to the Barrens.

There you dismount, stamping your own feet a bit to get the blood flowing again and straightening your hair. It's been hours; you don't know how many, but you're halfway across the kingdom now, and this was the last place the royal library had record of the Phoenix being sighted. Absently you pat Sarkuur's leathery neck, and he whinnies, sharp teeth nipping at your arm.

"You go run down a rabbit or two while I get my bearings here," you tell him, slipping off the saddle and the gear you packed.

That evening you make camp by a spring smelling of brimstone, that only Sarkuur can drink. He ate well judging by the blood spattered on his muzzle and chest, and the rabbits he brings you are soon bubbling nicely in a pot.

Finding the Phoenix turns out to be simpler than you could have imagined. No keen hunter senses are needed to identify the streak of shining red and gold burning across the sky when the night is at its darkest. The light settles somewhere beyond the craggy hills overlooking your camp and vanishes, but soon there arises a soft glow.

Your mount is prancing agitatedly, and you hiss at him through clenched teeth as you struggle with his saddle. "Be still and behave, damn you. We need to hurry."

The way is treacherous, and several times you have to backtrack on what had seemed a promising route. But when you finally crest a hill and gain a clear view of the bird, roosting in the shelter of a ruined wall, Sarkuur suddenly goes wild, snorting and bucking. He throws you off his back, disappearing into the night with a whinny of either anger or fright.

You glare after him in disbelief, then gingerly climb to your feet, confirming that nothing is broken and little hurt but your pride. So much for an intimidating entrance. But thankfully the bird has not taken flight, and you make your way down a boulder strewn incline towards the nest.

Ethereal light blossoms around it: a fire that is not a fire, summer colors highlighted with hints of turquoise and teal, subtly shifting. Achingly beautiful to behold, and in a word, otherworldly.

The Phoenix itself is the size of a swan, with a shining crest and long trailing tail feathers, all of scarlet edged in gold. When it raises its head to inspect you, its gaze is one of such peace and serenity that even you, with your spell prepared to strike, find yourself lowering your hand.

The bird speaks, her voice low and melodic. "Another hunter who has lost their way? Ah, but you're different from the others."

You nod and say assertively, "I am the heir of the Pharasin royal line. I require a feather to aid my mother the Queen, and I will not be dissuaded."

The Phoenix remains unperturbed. "First, you should know that my feathers have no power if not given of free will. But you have no need to worry, for if you desire it I'll give you one, and gladly."

This seems too easy.

"What's the catch?" you ask, not bothering to conceal your skepticism

"Catch?"

"I know a thing or two about magic, thanks, and you don't just get given miraculous healing feathers from talking birds living in the middle of a wasteland without some trade off. How does using the feather actually work?"

"Oh, I see. Well..." the Phoenix pauses, swiveling her head around and preen at one wing while you wait impatiently. "If I give away a feather, this current lifetime ends. I shall immolate, and travel to the Heavenly Realm to tell the King of the Gods of all I've seen and done in this world, before returning to be born anew."

You consider that, and shrug. "I don't see a downside."

"Ah but you see? If you then give my feather away to the Queen to heal her, you shall burn too, and be taken before the gods." The Phoenix gives what you take to be a little bird shrug of her own, giving a moment to let that sink in. "And what happens after that....well it's not for me to say."

***

Before you leave the Barrens, Sarkuur has to be summoned and bound once again, a task which, without any wolfsbane, is no easy feat for a sorceress even of your ability.

When you do manage to get home, Mother is on death's door, and Father seems to sense your answer even before you speak.

"There is no damned Phoenix," you say shortly, not meeting his disappointed gaze.

As you turn away to enter your mother's chamber, a thought strikes you. "What became of Lombin and the others?"

"Beheaded."

Nodding, half to yourself, "Good."

You're aware of his eyes upon you, brows drawn sharply together beneath the heavy crown, but neither of you say anything more.

Your mother is awake, and you sit beside her to hold her hand, ever the picture of the dutiful daughter.

Her cheeks glow with color, and her eyes meet yours, uncannily alert: embers that burn brightest just before they go out.



(Thought it wasn't fair to give a prompt I wasn't willing to attempt myself, so I've been chipping away at this the last couple days. It was a bit of an experiment too to see how I did with working on mobile, now that I've finally found a decent writing app.)

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Wow, that's one small kingdom! Must've settled for Rhode Island; maybe they arrived late to the continent and had to settle for scraps. I liked the way it was revealed that the main character isn't exactly stricken with moral duties, first when leaving and more dramatically when returning, which made for a great twist. The phoenix dilemma was a nice spin. I didn't think the mention of Elven magic held as much weight as it could've, but the hints at what the mount might be -- without revealing it -- made up for that. Fun little story.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
Thanks, I tried to go grimdark since there's what we're doing now. The kingdom really isn't that small though, keep in mind you can travel halfway across Texas in six hours.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
I loved it, the characters had a very unique feel to them and the twists were really good. The little points and hints with magic are interesting and the way the main character is on her guard at all times is also kind of interesting. I could go on listing things that I liked about this story, but that would take a lot of time. So the summary is that I loved it!! :D

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
Thanks, glad you liked it!

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Interesting story and well written. Also liked the idea a lot. However, some details actually take the wind out of its sails a little bit. Asking her father for permission makes the protagonist look tamer than her otherwise bad-ass attitude suggests. Also in the beginning we never get to see if she actually cares for her mother. Sure she volunteers but I had the impression that it's more because she is eager on the adventure. At least she thinks about her mother's coming demise in pretty matter-of-factly terms.

The way to make this really hard-hitting as a dark fantasy tale is probably to move away from the linear structure. I would actually start at the end, then tell of the hunt in a flashback.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Nah its fine how it is

800-1600 word stories work best using the standard old structure usually 

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
I think I've seen you suggest going with a non linear structure to others so I'm guessing it's a favorite writing device of yours. Not one I really feel is necessary in a story like this, although if I'd been trying for a much smaller word count I'd have had to start at the confrontation and try to make the rest meaningful while crammed into backstory exposition I guess. 1600 felt like just enough space for a straightforward short story though. Not that there was much of a hunt to flashback to. Finding the phoenix itself was supposed to be anticlimatically easy, everyone else who was sent had done it too. I wasn't really trying to make her come off as overly badass, I thought of her more as no nonsense and confident while being as ruthless as her parents raised her to be. But I'm going to just have to leave her looking 'tame', since the other option is a distractingly silly scenario where she runs off leaving the castle undefended while the queen is vulnerable without first clearing it with her king. These people may be evil but they're not incompetent. Thinking about it after posting it though, the more interesting scenario might be what happens after the queen dies. Her father would suspect her of lying and still want to get to the bottom of things, but still be forced to rely on her, probably at a time when anyone with an axe to grind against the royal family would be making their move. Thanks for the feedback though, anything is useful since I'm a little out of practice at short stories. The pacing is a whole different beast from a CYOA.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Ah right, I see now you had a different vision for this. Sorry for trying to push this in a direction where it was not meant to be.

I think making the hunt anti-climatic was a great choice, really drives home the point that this is about something else.

I am now almost wondering if she can be more selfless in the beginning such that the transformation. The 'you will burn as well' is already a super cool dark fantasy twist. Now my mind is going along the lines: What if learning this really affects her and turns the selfless princess into the proper evil calculating monarch. She hasn't found the cure for the queen, but she found the queen within herself and is now ready to take the reins.

I agree that a nonlinear variant would probably have cut this down to about 800 words (and yes I am unreasonably in love with very short stories). But I see the flashback less than a narrative device (although it can be one) and more as a solution to a common problem. As a reader I really want the deep immersion; I know, to others this is not so important. Time jumps tend to be a mild immersion breaker. We leave the character and rejoin them at a later time. By contrast in a flashback I can be with the character all the time remember the past with them.

The more I am thinking about this the more I think these characters deserve a longer story. Will we get one? Or a CYOA?

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
There were a couple of things I had to cut to get it down to 1600 words to begin with, and there are other ways I could see expanding it, so it's a possibility for a CYOA. (And it'd have to be a CYOA, no one reads short stories much longer than this.)

Really needing to focus on my contest entry going forward though.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Dang, nice twist lol

I love how the royal family are all assholes 

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
Me too

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
This one gets my vote.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Mizals response to Northwind confirms what I had suspected.

That the royal family have a lot of enemies (probably within their kingdom too) which is why the princess leaving is such a big deal.

I'm sort of wondering if the big deal about the princesses magic capabilities having something to do with the kingdoms defense is supposed to be like how in actual medieval times a lot of nobles received various combat training. Except the twist in this case is the same scenario but with magic instead, and only wealthy and powerful people have access to it.

 

That's what Im assuming anyways. 

It all makes sense why the royal family would need to be so cold and ruthless as it literally means survival.

I'm liking how this story gives us stuff to think about and speculate on. I feel most of Mizals writing tends to be more light hearted and with brighter toned stories (Inseparable aside that I can remember.)

But it seems like she has a knack for writing grim stuff too which is really cool.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
I have lots of serious stories, I just never actually finish them. :(

Funny and ridiculous stuff is just easier to crank out when I'm doing my four hour contest stories.

And yes the family does have a lot of enemies, and mostly within the kingdom. All this stuff has been slowly developing on the back burner of my mind the way settings like to do...maybe I'll attempt a small 5-10k CYOA over the weekend. It's not a distraction from the contest if I can hang onto it as an emergency entry if I don't have time to finish the mercenary story.

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago

Well, what I meant is that it can be serious but have a more upbeat tone. You'll finish one at some point.

You should just submit two entries

Or 30 entries even

Gift of the Phoenix

3 months ago
Same here mizal, I have lots of ideas, but regretfully, I never finish them.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Commended by mizal on 12/14/2020 10:39:43 PM

Hunter, APH-06-097442

The light in the jungle was failing. The last red rays of the sinking sun that filtered through the foliage were swallowed by heavy swaths of smoke. Yet Alyssia ran on, breaking through the undergrowth, dodging tree-trunks by mere instinct, her own lean black body a fleeting shadow.

She had been running like this for days, following the call, running for her life. Yet she was calm. She wouldn't give in to the fatigue or be distracted by the stones that cut her feet or the thorns that scratched her body. Not when her prey was close. She hadn't caught a glimpse of it yet, but it's call rang out loud and clear.

“Beep...Beep...Beep,” called the phoenix.

Not far now. The bird was near and so was the fire. But then the enormous trunk of a giant tree materialized out of the blackness ahead. Which way now?

“Room 344, please come in and close the door,” said a kind voice.

Alyssia stumbled to a halt, looking for the speaker, spear held ready.

“Patient APH-06-097442, African American, female, 23 years, ” the kind voice continued. It belonged to a small monkey that clung to a low branch. Now that Alyssia had spotted one monkey, she saw there was a troupe of them.

“We have had her for five days,” kind-voice continued. “She has been delirious for the last three, fever is high, but vitals still stable.”

“Won't be like this for long,” an older monkey said grumpily. “We have her mother as well, over on 4B. Apparently this one got infected driving her to the ER. Stupid. Well, looks like mum will survive her by a week or two. The young ones, they go so much faster.”

“Are you sure? She looks so strong,” another monkey said, his voice a hopeful baritone.

“Of course I am sure,” says grumpy. “Against this new mutation, the body has no defenses. It's their strength that kills the young ones. Immune system goes into overdrive and then the cytokine storm takes them. It's Spanish Flu all over again.”

It was true, Alyssia, could feel the storm coming, so she ran, faster than before. For a while she heard the monkeys chattering behind her, but paid them no heed, and as the first lighting struck they scattered altogether.

“Beep.Beep.Beep.Beep,” called the phoenix.

The lightning storm raged for hours. It brought no rain, but spawned thousands more fires. Now, the whole jungle was glowing, every tree a smoldering torch. Heavy smoke made Alyssia choke as the heat from the fire became unbearable. Soon her skin started to crack and flake. Yet, she stumbled on until a wall of flames blocked her way. It was there that the monkeys found her again.

“Tachycardia, oxygen stable at 74, fever 108.8,” the kind-voiced monkey said.

“Perhaps more icepacks—” hopeful ventured.

“No point.” interrupted grumpy, whose own tail was on fire, “That's it. Game over. She's burning up.”

‘Then, see me shine,’ thought Alyssia as she ran toward the inferno.

“BeepBeepBeepBeepBeep,” called the phoenix.

She watched as the spear in her hand shone bright and soon exploded in a shower of sparks. The hand that held it became a shining torch. For a brief moment all was light. Then blackness fell.

“BeeeeeepBeeeeeep”

“This might sting a little.” In the end there was no phoenix. The jungle had become a smoldering desert. Burnt stumps of giant trees dotted the devastated landscape like the ruined castles from some fantasy tale. If there ever was a phoenix it had burned and wasn't reborn.

When the first rain drops fell in the predawn glow Alyssia watched them hiss and sizzle. But the rain persisted and soon banished the residual heat from the scorched earth. Small rivulets formed and ran down the burnt hills to join dirty black flows. It was a mess, but such is life.

The monkeys found her again just as the first light of dawn pierced her eyes.

“Iris reflexes are normal. Temperature down to 99.5,” said hopeful. “We have started to bring her slowly out of the coma. She should be awake in an hour or so.”

“How's she even alive?” asked kind-voice.

“Lab results' just came back,” hopeful said, “She started producing antibodies. Lab is isolating them right now for replication.”

“Against the new strain...” grumpy said, sounding more amazed then grumpy, “...that's...I must go at once.”

True to his word, he departed immediately, scrambling across the blacked landscape on his short monkey legs. Most of the troupe followed him, leaving only kind-voice and hopeful by Alyssia's side. For the while they sat in silence, watching the other monkeys vanish among the rain-swept hills.

“What's her name?” hopeful asked eventually.

“Let's see, Alyssia P. Hunter.”

“What's the ‘P’ stand for?”

“Your guess is as good as mine.”

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Just noticed that I seem to have landed on the lower end of the duel word count allowance by accident. Anyway, feedback would be highly welcome.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago

Cool

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Thanks for reading!

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
I liked it a lot, and for some reason, it had a sci-fi feel. : )

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago

Well observed! You get the SciFi feel because of language of the monkeys. They talk in short sharp sentences with a lot of technical sounding numbers thrown in, including decimals. Tells you they are technically minded people. They want to convey precise information in short words. Note that they even (intentionally) drop some articles which should grammatically be there. The grumpy monkey is an exception. I wanted him to be an older doctor, who has lost his edge over the years, so I made him a little bit more verbose. This hopefully makes him seem more like a talker and less professional.

The contrast between the long flowing sentences of the narration and the technical talk of the monkeys made this fun to write for me.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago

A unique take. I like that it captured the feel of a larger world, and had an 'unreliable narrator' perspective.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Thanks for reading, much appreciated!

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Nice, that was an unexpected spin on the prompt. I actually love seeing multiple takes on a pretty generic set up, that's half the reason prompts are so fun for me. You managed to switch out the whole genre here, although the length didn't let you do much with the character unfortunately. Layering in the real story under the hallucination was a creative way to pack more into a small space though.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago

I love these very short formats because you can go a bit crazy in ways that would get boring in a longer piece. I think three times is really the maximum that I could have the monkeys show up.

Seeing multiple takes on a prompt is really cool. Maybe we should have a short story competition from time to time.

Rising from the Ashes

3 months ago
Hey guys! So, I'm going to re-write the story I wrote here (Rising from the Ashes) in Quotev. I have the same username there, so you can check it out, because I'm going to write everything in detail there, including the scene where the god gets punched. I know you're probably not interested, but I just wanted to let you guys know. :D

Rising from the Ashes

3 months ago
Cool! It's always good to polish up a piece after it was written.

Rising from the Ashes

3 months ago
Thanks! :D

Rising from the Ashes

3 months ago
Cool, good luck.

I don't use that site, but feel free to repost the new version here.

Rising from the Ashes

3 months ago
Sure, but I'll have to make a new thread for that. I'm thinking of making it into a novel. and adding more detail, instead of just summarizing everything like the story in this thread.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Couldn't quite put words to it last night, but I think I figured out the thing that felt lacking here. The girl doesn't really do anything, even in the hallucination. She just sort of flails around and then collapses until the rain/antibodies save her.

I know she's the actual phoenix of the story, but the doctors felt more like the real protagonists. Maybe it should've ended focusing on them instead of her name.

Hunter, APH-06-097442

3 months ago
Hmmm, will think about that. It could really do with some work for her.